Dear Wings of Hope Family,
When the last edition of this newsletter arrived in your mailboxes in the fall, no one could have predicted what an unusual and unsettling start to 2020 we would be experiencing worldwide. Our way of living has been forever changed – even after the virus is under control and social distancing is a thing of the past.
As you read through the following pages, I invite you to experience the progress this organization has been able to make because of you. You will read about the inspiring day our pilot, Steve Williams, and Paraguay Field Director Cliff Schisler departed our hangar in a Cessna 182 destined for Paraguay. We recently welcomed some new faces to Wings of Hope and said goodbye to a dear friend.
You will also see pictures from our Hope Is Where the Heart Is Gala and read about the success of our spring aircraft raffle. We have plenty of rescheduled event information to share with you as well.
Amid so much uncertainty, one thing is sure. Wings of Hope is able to make progress toward our mission even during this pandemic because of you. You can count on us to continue doing our best for you and for our participants, to have fun along the way and – no matter the challenge – to never, never give up our efforts to save and change lives through the power of aviation.
I’ll leave with a truly uplifting update of one of the young patients we fly. Gracin is a 12-year-old girl who was born with one leg shorter than the other. When we first started flying Gracin nearly three years ago, she was using a walker. We’ve flown Gracin from her home in Kansas to St. Louis Shriners for bone-lengthening surgeries and therapy more than 30 times. A couple of weeks ago, Gracin’s mom sent us a wonderful video – it was Gracin running for the first time in three years. The look on Gracin’s face was pure joy. It reminded me: this is why we do what we do.
We shared the video on our Facebook page in April. If you haven’t seen it – I encourage you to take a look.
President & CEO